Every day when my eldest daughter comes home from school I ask: “good day? bad day? happy day? sad day?”. This year, I think all of those apply: good, bad, happy and sad.
I was just reading a post from my friend Bernadette Jiwa on taking stock of the year that was, which prompted me to think of success and growth and all those good things. One of the things I like most about this time of year (aside from family & friends and good food of course), is that hopefully the downtime of the holidays does give us an opportunity to reflect on all that has been during the year.
Often we forget, in this trajectory of moving onwards, upwards, of being ever more successful and brighter and shinier, where the starting point was. And we forgot to reflect not just on the end point of what has been achieved, but on the journey itself.
Perhaps this is most obvious in kids, where you can literally see them growing, learning and developing in front of your eyes. But even so, the most recent point that they are at tends to become the new benchmark. It’s a good thing to not only celebrate the most recent success or milestone, but also the journey that has led to that new milestone.
Part of the reason I have so been enjoying coaching this year is being able to work with individuals who are on the journey and to help them celebrate each stage, without racing to an illusionary “end point”. And to remind them to look back, and to see who they were and who they have become.
Growth comes from many different sources of course, and it is often the times that are hardest that create the most sustainable and ongoing growth. Sometimes it can be hard to celebrate those times, as there can be hurt and bad feeling associated with the memories, but it can also be good to be gentle on yourself and celebrate that you’ve made it through, wiser, stronger and hopefully happier.
So, my taking stock this year is one in which I celebrate my achievements (writing my first book, and launching a new business) of which I am very proud of course, but perhaps more importantly reflecting on how I am a different person a year on. There have been battles fought and won, battles fought and lost. There has been hard times that have slowly gotten better and wonderful times that hopefully will remain in my memory bank forever. And there have been lessons learnt, many many lessons learnt.
I have really enjoyed writing this blog this year, and hope you have enjoyed reading it, and that perhaps some of the points I have made may have in some small way influenced you and your journey this year.
Until next week, happy reading!